A quarter of British firms expect to raise prices in March

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LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters) – The proportion of British businesses expecting to raise prices in March fell marginally, adding to signs that price pressures may have peaked, a survey published on Thursday showed.

The Office for National Statistics said 25% of trading businesses expected to increase the prices of goods or services they sell over the next month.

In January, the ONS said that proportion stood at 26%.

British consumer price inflation slowed to 10.1% in January, cooling from a 41-year high of 11.1% in October.

Nearly half of firms in accommodation and food services intended to hike prices – the highest proportion of all sectors.

Of all the firms surveyed over the last two weeks, 35% cited energy costs as the main reason for increasing prices.

There was also a big increase in overall retail footfall in the week to the end of Feb. 19 to 108% of the level of the previous week, coinciding with school holidays, and 123% of its average level in the same week in 2022.

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